March 29

Spring Clean Your Finances

Five things you can do right now to improve your family finances!

I was just reading up on a few of Dave Ramsey’s posts on his website when I found this great article. I love Dave’s no nonsense approach to getting control of your money, and these tips are so easy, you can do them today!

1. Review all your insurance policies.

Dave makes a great point about reviewing all your insurance policies–home, life, and auto–in order to see if your circumstances have changed and to see whether policy changes could save you money.

2. Cut the grocery spending.

Rather than using coupons to save on shopping, Dave advises his readers to try cutting the monthly food budget by $10, and moving that money to another area of your budget. You could use this to pay off extra debt, or simply put it into a savings account. You won’t have to sacrifice much, and the money could be put to much better use in another part of your budget.

3. Review your cell phone plan.

This one is definitely worth doing, because most of us never use every feature of our plan that we pay for. Data usage is on particular area where people often overpay, so check your usage and see if you could save money by lowering your data limit.

4. Combine two items into one.

I really like this tip…it is especially useful for people like me who tend to break their budget down into waaaay too many categories. He suggests combining budget items to save money. You could combine things like ‘eating out’ and ‘entertainment’ to save more money every month.

5. Take a look at the kids’ extracurricular activities.

Again, this one hits home with me. It can get very expensive trying to keep three kids happy and entertained with their hobbies and after school activities, not to mention overwhelming for the kids if their schedules get too out of hand. Pick one favorite activity, and find the least expensive way to do it, and everyone wins!

What tips do you have for tweaking your budget this spring?

March 28

Do you want to work at home? I didn't, but now I'm so glad I do!

I know a lot of people are struggling to make ends meet (myself included, most days!), but at the same time, they are struggling to find happiness with their job.

Maybe you took a job because you needed the money, but you’re scared to try moving on to something better. Or, maybe there isn’t anything better, at least not any J-O-B that is better than the one you currently have.

I have a confession to make. I didn’t set out to be a work at home mom. I had sort of tried that before, but didn’t know how to get myself together enough to actually make it work. I ended up stressed, struggling for money and ready to go back to the workforce. Fast forward a couple of years, and an unexpected bundle of joy put us in a tricky position financially. I could keep my job, but basically work to just pay childcare fees.

I know there are other moms out there in this boat, wondering if it’s worth going back to work just to pay for daycare. And I know there’s lads of parents-moms and dads-who would love to spend more time at home with their kids, but who are afraid of losing their guaranteed paycheck every week.

But, pay checks aren’t always guaranteed. People get laid off. People get sick, and sometimes people just get fed up with being an employee. And, let me tell you, there are alternatives.

How I Started

I started writing online when my youngest daughter was born, and at first I told myself I would be happy with an extra $20 each week. That was easy, that was doable. And it was okay, for about two weeks. Then I got the bug…I wanted $50 a week, and I became obsessed with finding out how to make a real income writing from home.

I had the luxury of a husband who earned well enough to pay the bills, mostly, and a newborn who slept a lot, so I was able to really spend a lot of time researching and writing, finding sites to write for and learning as much as I could about earning money online.

I had no special skills, didn’t finish college, and am still not the best writer out there, but I am a persistent gal who loves to write, so I kept at it. And I started to realize that being my own boss, and earning a real income, was more than just possible…it was happening!

Challenging But Rewarding

I won’t lie…working for myself is just as challenging as it is rewarding. Some weeks, I struggle to meet my financial goals. Some months, I have more work than I can manage, while others, I can barely find enough time to bring work in.

I plan on sharing much more of what I have learned about working from home here on the blog, because I really think a lot of people don’t realize that there are actual, viable ways to earn a living working from home. I mostly write, but I have friends who have started their own businesses in other platforms like photography, crafting and direct sales.

If you are wondering if working from home full or part time could be a real option for you, check back here to read my upcoming posts. I’ll try to be as detailed as possible without writing a novel worth of info!

If you could work at home, what would you like to do? Why? Please share your answers in the comments…I’d love to know!